As a year round resident of the Grand Strand, I like to keep a running list of all the fun, free things to do throughout the busy summer season. While we love to take advantage of the many wonderful family-friendly attractions the Myrtle Beach area has to offer, it would get pricey if we were doing something with an admission fee every single day. One of my favorite free places to visit any time of year is Vereen Historical Memorial Gardens.

Beyond being absolutely free to enter and explore, Vereen Historical Memorial Gardens is a must do for any outdoor enthusiast visiting the Grand Strand. The 114-acre park is located on the very north end of the Grand Strand in Little River, and features a number of well kempt trails and boardwalks that extend across beautiful salt marshes and small islands. There is even a quaint gazebo overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. Simply put, the views are spectacular and worth the visit alone. The chance to see a variety of wildlife is icing on the cake.

Another thing we like about this park is the ability to bring our dogs. As long as they’re leashed and we clean up after them, they’re able to enjoy the same outdoors experience as us! There are also picnic tables and swings, so packing a snack or lunch is also not a bad idea, as you could easily spend hours here.

History buffs may also enjoy visiting the park. Vereen Historical Memorial Gardens is located on part of a 400-acre plantation owned by the Vereen family, and George Washington once visited the property and spent the night! During his term as the first president, George Washington traveled south to see more parts of the country he helped establish. ‘Washington’s Southern Tour’ consisted of only one coach and one baggage cart, and the president stayed at the home of Jeremiah Vereen, who gave a tour of the property during his stay. While the house is no longer there, 350 years’ worth of Vereen ancestors are laid to rest at the family cemetery in Vereen Historial Memorial Gardens, including both Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans. More history about the park and surrounding area can be found at the C.B. Berry Community and Historical Center, located at the entrance to the gardens.

The park keeps daylight hours, and is relatively easy to find. It’s located in plain sight off Highway 179 in Little River, about one mile south of the SC/NC border and almost directly across from the South Carolina Welcome Center.